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General News · 14th December 2008
The Tao Te Ching is a little book written by Lao-Tzu many centuries ago. Nobody seems to know exactly when Lao lived, it is believed he was an older contemporary of Confucius, around 551-479 B.C.E. His book is kind of a manual on the art of living, written in 81 short chapters, songs or verses.

One of the verses that is worth to revisit specially in these days that so many of us are traveling south to escape the Winter blues, is verse # 80. It goes as follows:

“If a country is governed wisely, its inhabitants will be content… Since they dearly love their homes, they aren’t interested in travel. There may be a few wagons and boats, but these don’t go anywhere… People take pleasure in being with their families, spend weekends working in their gardens, delight in the doings of the neighborhood. And even though the next country is so close that people can hear its roosters crowing and its dogs barking, they are content to die of old age without ever having gone to see it.”

To me, this verse is not only about avoid traveling, but about recognizing, valuing and enjoying what we have; about being happy within our community, our homeplace, ourselves; about saying I have enough; about realizing that we don’t need more stuff nor need to go to other places. It is about simplicity, and about being truly local.

I think the not-traveling applies to many other than the snow birds: to all people always traveling for pleasure and for business, and to people with several houses around the world --I wonder if these people have any one they can really call “home”?

Besides, when we travel we need to deal with so many problems and risks of traveling: dealing with airport’s security, change of food, culture shock, catching foreign illness, being robbed, and more.

No wonder when we finally return home we are usually so tired, sick, with a huge new debt… you name it.

And by the way, when we cut our traveling we also cut our carbon emissions ! A win-win-win situation, I think.

You can check a good post on this topic by Ray Grigg, at the gumboot website from Quadra.

Read it here:

Wishing everyone to enjoy home!

Hostage Above the 49th
Comment by Robert Carter on 15th December 2008
I don't see why we should limit ourselves to living all year long above the 49th parallel just because that was the area defined as "Canada" over a century ago. Canada is one of the biggest contributer to global warming per capita in the world. That is mostly because of the fact that it takes a lot of fossil fuel to keep us warm during 6 months of winter. Why should we not take a break from winter, stop burning wood & hydro and spend some time in southern climes ? There are many benefits to oneself and the environment by going south, air travel aside.
traveling within
Comment by mama on 14th December 2008
thank you for posting the passage. i would like to share how it resonates with me. i hear the passage as using the "country" as a metaphor for oneself, and that everything that one needs for joy is contained within the self, that seeking elsewhere only brings one further away from ones own true nature of pure light - no matter where one finds themselves. finding pleasure in the home of the body, peace in the mind, joy in the spirit. many blessings for well-being.